Despite her dogged support of her husband’s bills on welfare “reform” and mass incarceration—policies that devastated black America—and her past reference to urban black youths as “superpredators,” black Americans favored Hillary Clinton generously in the 2016 Democratic primary.

To learn the origins of this support, Truthdig editorial assistant Clara Romeo and I spoke with Glen Ford, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, at the Socialist Convergence in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention. The event was hosted by Democratic Socialists of America, the Green Party of Pennsylvania, Socialist Alternative and other socialist groups.

“The Clintons were not the black favorites in 1992,” Ford explained. They “only became popular among black folks in 1994 when Newt Gingrich did his ‘Contract With America’ and won both houses of Congress. And it appeared to people that there was nothing standing between Newt Gingrich and these Confederate barbarian hordes—you dig—and us but the president, of course, because they had both houses of Congress. And that’s when folks started thinking of Clinton as their defender. … by that time we were enthralled with him. He saved us from ‘the Newt.’ ”

Watch Ford speak at the Socialist Convergence below.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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